Diversified renewables company, CBD Energy, has attracted the attention of Europe’s largest bank, Banco Santander, to take a major equity position in its proposed $250 million Taralga wind farm project in the NSW southern highlands. CBD Energy sought new partners after the unravelling of its AusChina venture with two leading Chinese wind farm developers, which was to develop the 106.8MW wind farm. It said Spanish-based Banco Santander would hold 90 per cent of the equity in the project and CBD 10 per cent.
For Santander – which is also the world’s biggest renewables financier and last year participated in the development of 9,181MW of installed capacity – this is their first wind energy foray in Australia. David Swindin, Santander’s Head of Credit Markets Asia-Pacific said the bank had been working with CBD for some time on the project, which he described as “one of the few shovel ready projects in Australia with an off-take agreement.” CBD this week signed an off-take agreement with TRUenergy. Banco Santander will now lead negotiations in finding debt arrangements for the project.
In other news…
A rare positive note for Australia’s cleantech sector, with the latest performance report for the ACT Australian CleanTech Index has revealed that the Index has outperformed the general market for August, finishing the month up 6.1 per cent – compared to +1.1 per cent for the S&P/ASX 200, and +3 per cent for the S&P/ASX Small Ords – while the Australian CleanTech 20 did even better, finishing the month up 6.9 per cent.
The first offset projects under the federal government’s Carbon Farming Initiative have been approved, with four landfill sites developing projects to capturing greenhouse gases from waste. The four gas capture projects – two in Perth at the South Cardup and Mirrabooka landfill sites, one in Darwin and one in Buderim in Queensland – will abate a combined 170,000 tonnes of CO2e gas, with three of the sites generating more than 40,000MWh of energy a year – enough to power 5,600 homes.
More than 130 of the world’s poorest nations are threatening to deny richer countries access to cheap UN carbon credits unless they agree to new legally-binding goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions. The so-called group of 77 countries and China told delegates at UN talks this week that access to credits under the Clean Development Mechanism should be limited to nations that agree to cap emissions under the Kyoto Protocol starting next year.
A new report from carbon analytics firm, RepuTex, indicates that the federal government’s newly announced plans to link the Australian and European ETS’s could save liable Australian companies $2.5 billion over five years. RepuTex says EU and international carbon units are forecast to trade through FY 2016-2020 at an average of $A11.50 per tonne – well below the $15 floor price – leading to notable savings for Australian companies.